The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Monday, 27 October 2014

The shoreline around Arnside

I’ll start with a very quick explanation as to the premise of this trip: Mick (still failing to get to grips with the concept of retirement) has gone back to work for a few weeks, and I’ve just come to the end of a project on which I have been working, so rather than spending the next couple of weeks repeating walks along our local paths, I decided to go on a bit of a tour (Gayle’s Tour, as I’m dubbing it). It’s not really a walking tour. I’m on my way up to Morayshire, to see Louise and David, visiting other friends on the way there and back, with the aim of also taking a little walk each day (provided the weather isn’t too horrible!).

The tour started early this morning; I was on the road at just gone 6.30, and after a few hours of driving and a bit of faffing over deciding where to park Colin, off I set for a walk around Arnside.

People were out aplenty as I set off from a few paces away from the railway bridge. Within the mile, I was on my lonesome, as I left behind the view of the bridge…IMG_7644

…and made my way along the shore line south-west to Blackstone Point:


Under heavy grey skies, which suggested that the forecast rain was going to soak me through before the morning was out, the views weren’t as they might have been, but it was it was still a mightily nice walk. (As it went, only a few spots of drizzle hit me and they were so innocuous as to justify me describing the walk as ‘dry’.)

Rounding Blackstone Point, the wind hit me, but it proved not to be an impediment for more than 10 minutes, as I then opted to leave the shore and make my way up to the path which runs a little higher up, through the woods.

Past Far Arnside, I ignored the line I had plotted on the map, partly because I’m lazy and wasn’t moved to walk the distance I had plotted, and partly because I’d spotted Arnside Tower and decided to go and take a look at it (it’s possible I’ve been there before, but if I have, I don’t recall the visit). In the absence of an information sign, Wikipedia has filled in a little of the detail of its history for me.


Ankle-deep slurry was the order of the day through the farmyard below where I followed the two-sides-of-a-triangle along which the footpath runs. I could easily have just trespassed along the third edge of the triangle and kept my boots clean.

Once through Middlebarrow Wood, farmland took me back to Arnside where Colin was sitting patiently where I’d left him. I swiftly pointed him in the direction of Conrad’s house, and a few hours were enjoyed supping tea, eating cake and talking maps, walks, plans and photos.

I’m glad that I made tracks as darkness approached (I’m a bit miffed that the clocks changed just before my tour; it would be much more useful to me to have the light in the evening rather than the morning) as tonight’s campsite is extremely dark and I would have struggled with the solo manoeuvre onto my original pitch had it been much later (as it went, I didn’t much like my original neighbours, so after dark I moved – but to a pitch with much better access).

Today’s stats: 6.6 miles with just 400’(ish) of ascent.


  1. Ooh, do have a grand tour!
    Do you want me to explain to Mick the ins and outs of this retirement lark? He's clearly struggling.
    I hope you didn't give Conrad too much of a hard time, he's in recovery you know.

    1. Maybe sending a daily photo of somewhere spectacular to Mick will convince him that Scotland in Colin beats Oldham in an office!

  2. Ooh, cake was available in Timperley! (But we understand the attractions of Arnside)
    I can also explain to Mick, if that would help.
    Enjoy your tour, and feel free to call on your way back (if we aren't away).

    1. Logistically, Timperley on a Monday morning didn't really work, but if you're back from Madeira by the time I'm heading back south (as yet an unfixed date) then I'll drop you a line with a view to raiding your cake stash!

  3. Enjoy the tour, I ride past Arnside Tower most evenings on the bike (its on my favourite training route!) Grand country, its a great walk round the coast.Best when the tides in IMHO.
    Wasn't it warm this morning?

    1. Monday morning was very warm indeed, as was yesterday afternoon, but my goodness, it was cold when the sun went down last night and at 3000' this morning!

  4. Great to see you again Gayle especially as I am a bit restricted at the moment, but after your departure and this morning things seem to have made a minutely noticeable improvement. See my latest post - "Six Years later"

    1. Glad there is improvement, even if it is small. Some improvement has got to be better than none.

      I have a 'signs' blog post drafted and ready to go for you, but need some wifi before I post it (being so picture-heavy it would use up too much usage to send via the dongle). It will probably be up sometime over the weekend.

  5. So! You're on your way. I'd best do some planning and baking....

    1. I am indeed! I'd best tell you when we're arriving (which I was going to do last night, except it turned out that I had no signal at all on the right network).